Dance Fever

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The annual Opening Night Gala at the Kennedy Center is considered one of D.C.'s top charity events and boasts a mix of top politicos and philanthropists. Guests at the gala, held on Feb. 5, were treated to three performances by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and then enjoyed a lavish after-party with dinner and dancing.

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Party With a Purpose

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The Opening Night Gala raises funds to support the dance company's Arts in Education and Community programs, including outreach to talented dance students around the country. Pictured above are guests enjoying the live band at the after-party.

Corporate Leaders

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BET Vice President Tara Jones with the new executive director of the Executive Leadership Council, Brickson Diamond.

Cheers!

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Charmer-Sunbelt Group-DIAGEO Regional Multicultural Director Karim Lateef with his wife, Chinyere.

Night in Noir

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Gala Vice Chairs Art and Sela Collins with Yebbie Watkins, chief of staff to House Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.).

Center Stage

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The Root's D.C. Insider Nicole Venable pictured with three of the extraordinary dancers from the Alvin Ailey company. Venable also served as a member of the benefit committee hosting the gala.

DC Power Players

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A beautiful baby bump didn't stop Event D.C.'s Chinyere Hubbard and top D.C. public relations guru Kathy Etemad Hollinger from having a wonderful time at the gala.

Shaken, Not Stirred

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Vice President Joe Biden's Senate liaison Tonya Williams with D.C. politico Tony Haywood.

DNC: Dance Night Chic

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Pictured at the after-party, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-Fla.) with her chief of staff, Tracie Pough.

Girls' Night Out

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Tasha Cole, vice president of Resources Development for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) and D.C. politico LaKeitha Anderson are all smiles after the amazing opening night performance.

Time to Party

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Three of the phenomenal dancers of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater enjoying the party at the Kennedy Center.

Decision 2012: The Rematch

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Washington, D.C.'s young black professionals came out to Capitale to view the second presidential debate at an event co-hosted by The Root, Congressional Black Associates, the Thursday Network of the National Urban League, the Madyun Group and CSE Entertainment.

Strategic Thoughts

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Political commentator and D.C. politico Jamal Simmons (right) poses with Ladan Manteghi of Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. Simmons provided remarks prior to the start of the debate, helping to put the event into context.

Taking Root

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The Root's D.C. insider, Nicole Venable, poses with The Root's publisher, Donna Byrd.

Family Ties

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Jimmy and Candice Sanders smile for the camera during the second presidential-debate watch party.

Making It Happen

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Mitch Mathis (left) and Lauren Manning stand with the president of CSE Entertainment, Cheeky Sasso, one of the event's organizers. 

Vote Ready

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Shareeke Edmead-Nesi (left) of the Conscious Spender and D.C. politico Chonya Davis-Johnson are both "vote ready." Davis-Johnson is a former Democratic candidate for local office in Maryland.

Reaching for the Stars

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NASA politico RaShawn Mitchell poses with Capitol Hill staffer and Congressional Black Associates member Brandon Webb.

A Tale of Two Voters

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Kenya Peyton and Tischa M. Cockrell smile for the camera at The Root's debate watch event.

The Meridian Ball

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On Oct. 12, a chic mix of international professionals from across the District came together for a classic Washington evening affair at the Meridian International Center.

The Welcome Committee

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Meridian Ball Young Professional Committee Co-Chair Reem Sadik, fellow ball hosts Alix DeJean and Nicole Venable, The Root's D.C. insider, welcome guests to the event.

Principals of the Party

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D.C. politico Sudafi Henry (left) and his wife, Anita Henry, pose with Meridian board of trustees member Art Collins and his wife, Sela Collins.

Press Pool

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Al-Jazeera journalist Jeff Ballou is photographed with White House legislative liaison Nicole Isaacs.

Commerce Flows

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The Root's Nicole Venable poses with Meridian Ball Young Professional Committee Co-Chair Erika Paola Gutierrez, the daughter of former Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez, who was honored with the 2012 Meridian International Center Global Leadership Award. 

A Political Talking Head

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Jonathan Capehart, columnist for the Washington Post's PostPartisan blog and an MSNBC contributor.

Chic Delivery

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Dontai Smalls (right), UPS senior government-affairs representative, poses with D.C. lawyer Jennifer Mauskapf.

Rumble In the (Denver) Jungle

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Members of the Congressional Black Associates and the National Urban League's Thursday Network gathered on Wednesday Oct. 3 to watch the first of three presidential debates at Capitale Lounge on K Street in Washington, D.C.  Guests enjoyed a hip-hop vibe along with cocktails as they prepared to watch the night's big event between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.  

True Colors

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Lola Keyes (left) poses with ColorComm founder, Lauren Wesley Wilson. ColorComm is a network of professional women of color in the communications field.

All In the Family

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Bill Frazier and his wife, Kimberly Bryant, enjoy the debate-watching event. 

The Hill Meets K Street

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The Root’s D.C. insider Nicole Venable (right) poses with Waikinya Clanton, president of the Congressional Black Associates, Atiba Madyun, co-host of the night’s event, and Andrea Roberson (left).  

The Lady in Red

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Kim Bassett, executive director of the Wireless Foundation, is flanked by politicos Mike Hardaway (left), Alix DeJean, CEO of CSE Entertainment, Cheeky Sasso, Jason Duffus, and RaShawn Mitchell (right) of the Obama administration. 

The 2012 AT&T Nation's Classic

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HBCU alums from across the country converged on the nation's capital, Aug. 29- Sept. 2, to cheer on the Howard Bison or the Morehouse Maroon Tigers during the second annual AT&T Nation's Classic at the Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington, D.C. The Bison defeated the Maroon Tigers 30-29, taking home their second Nation's Classic title.

Drum Line

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The game's halftime entertainment featured an epic battle-of-the-bands competition, which included Morehouse College's Marching Band (pictured above).

Presidential Pride

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Spelman alum Kelly Veney Brinkley (right) and Morehouse alum Lamell McMorris (left) watch the game alongside Morehouse President Robert M. Franklin (back) at RFK Stadium in Washington.

Spelman Sisters

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The Root's D.C. insider Nicole Venable tailgates with the first lady's adviser, Kristen Jarvis, a fellow Spelman alum.

Overlooking the Capital

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The Root's D.C. insider Nicole Venable (left) poses with Lynne Jollivette, Karen Horton and Yvonne Williams at the Nation's Classic weekend's rooftop reunion kickoff.

All in the Family

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"Spel-House" couple Dr. Monte Harris and his wife Lisa with their sister Robin Smiles, a Howard alum, during the weekend's president's reception, held at the Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C.'s Mt. Vernon Square park.

Classic Leadership

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AT&T Nation's Classic board member Michelle Hagans (left) joins Jeanie Carr and Annie and Steve Watley for a photo at the president's reception.

Star Power

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Morehouse co-chair Lammell McMorris (left), mistress of ceremonies Cynee Simpson and actor LaMann Rucker smile for the camera.

Ladies' Night

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Kelly Davis (left), The Root's D.C. insider Nicole Venable and Janis Manalang enjoy the festivities at the Classic weekend's president's reception. Venable is also one of Spelman College's representatives on the Nation's Classic Advisory Committee.

A Warm Welcome

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Washington, D.C.'s Eastern High School Band set the tone for the weekend's welcome dinner on Thursday night. During the dinner, the Howard and Morehouse football players were honored, while a little friendly trash talk was thrown about by the coaches.

Power-'House Players

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Members of Morehouse's Maroon Tigers pose for the camera during the Classic weekend's welcome dinner.

The Third Annual Tin Cup Awards  

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The Washington Government Relations Group held its Third Annual Tin Cup Awards Dinner on the evening of July 18 at la Maison Française, the Embassy of France. The event honored leadership in diversity and leaders among government-affairs professionals. Here, WGRG member and Tin Cup Award presenter LaKeitha Anderson poses with WGRG President Marcus Mason and Christina Mary. WGRG is the nation's oldest networking organization for African-American government-relations professionals.

Focus on Stellar Students

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The Root's D.C. insider, Nicole Venable (WGRG member and Tin Cup dinner co-chair), with WGRG Terri Grier Memorial Scholarship recipient Elizabeth Davis of George Mason University, who is also a 2012 Congressional Black Caucus summer intern in the office of Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), her hometown representative. WGRG gave away five college scholarships at the awards dinner.

Sweet Treat

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The Sweet Lobby, a boutique bakery known for winning on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, provided guests with an array of desserts, including its award-wining Mac Top cupcake. Here is jazz harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet, bakery owner Winnette McIntosh Ambrose, Carla Sims and WGRG dinner Co-Chair David Waar. 

Straight Talking

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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) was honored with WGRG's Adam Clayton Powell Award for Leadership in Diversity for her work in Congress highlighting the needs of women, minorities and the poor.

Promoting Diverse Voices

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Sen. Robert "Bob" Menendez (D-N.J.) accepted the WGRG Adam Clayton Powell Award for Leadership in Diversity at the Tin Cup Awards Dinner. He was honored for his work encouraging diversity among Fortune 100 companies and representing minorities in the U.S. Senate.

Step Afrika! Comes Home

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Step Afrika! celebrated its 2012 Home Performance Series at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on June 23. The nxt/step show celebrated the roots of hip-hop and mixed them with beats created by the dance company's syncopated step choreography. The Washington, D.C.-based company has performed around the world and shares its talents with more than 25,000 young students. In 2011 Step Afrika! was asked to perform for U.S. troops and their families abroad — including a special performance on the deck of the legendary USS Enterprise.

Two Turntables and a Microphone  

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The performance, a tribute to the roots of hip-hop, was enhanced with the beats of not one, but two DJs. Pictured here is DJ RBI, who treated guests to old-school hip-hop classics during dance breaks.

Stepping Up  

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Step Afrika! board member Kimberly Bassett with young D.C. professional Bianca Little.

Crimson, Cream and Proud  

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Step Afrika! company members Assata Barton, Shannan E. Johnson and Dionne Eleby demonstrate traditional Greek-sorority "stepping" during the performance. All three are members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Here We Go-Go

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Step Afrika! performs a tribute to D.C.'s go-go music.

Beat-Boxing to the Next Level

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Nationally recognized Kenny Muhammad, aka the Human Orchestra, performed with Step Afrika! for the first time.

A Night of Notables

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President and CEO of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce Barbara Lang and her husband, Gerald Lang, attend the gala dinner and performance.

Heart of the Company

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C. Brian Williams, Step Afrika!'s founder and executive director, is shown with Natasha Watkins, president of the Friends of Step Afrika!, and her husband, Dr. Ben Watkins.

Step Afrika! After Party

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The Root's D.C. insider, Nicole Venable, poses with CW Network's style guru Paul Wharton.

The Soul Man Screening: Hello, D.C.

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Viacom hosted a special screening of TV Land's new show, The Soul Man, for influentials and key staffers from Capitol Hill and the Obama administration on Thursday evening in Washington, D.C. The event was attended by the show's stars, Cedric the Entertainer and Neicy Nash.

Hollywood on the Potomac

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Cedric the Entertainer, who is also a producer and writer for The Soul Man, with Neicy Nash. 

Politicos and Stars

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D.C. politico Shawna Watley (far left), Capitol Hill staffer Ryan Hughley (second from right) and The Root's D.C. insider, Nicole Venable, pose with Cedric the Entertainer.

Q&A

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Cast mates Cedric the Entertainer and Neicy Nash took questions about the development of the show, election-year politics and opportunities for African Americans in Hollywood.

Kicking Things Off

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The Rev. Matthew L. Watley, executive minister of Reid Temple AME Church, delivered the night's invocation. Politicos, executives, media figures and more gathered at Washington, D.C.'s Mandarin Oriental Hotel for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies' 2012 Annual Gala Dinner on May 1. The black-tie event honors the efforts of black politicians, activists and more.

The 'Essence' of Woman

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Essence magazine's editor emeritus, Susan L. Taylor (left), poses with AT&T's Tanya Lombard. 

Inside the Scene

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The Root's D.C. insider, Nicole Venable (right), poses with Marcellus W. Anderson Jr., executive vice president for the National Association of Broadcasters, and Comcast Spotlight senior executive Tina Hamilton.

Voto Latino: Latina Power!

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The D.C.-based nonprofit Voto Latino hosts its annual pre-WHCD reception honoring "Diverse Voices" in media. Actress Rosario Dawson is the co-founder.

Spotted: Gayle King

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The CBS This Morning host takes a moment to smile for the camera with Nicole Venable.

Looking Royale

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Venable spots D.C. politico Nadia Garnett and White House adviser Heather Foster at the Capitol File after-party.

Rebirth: The Howard Theatre  

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Alive again! The historic Howard Theatre re-opened with a star-studded opening-night gala and benefit concert on April 12, complete with memories of the music that made the venue famous. The gala was sprinkled with notable Washingtonians like Mayor Vincent Gray, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown and entertainment superstars such as Dionne Warwick, Bill Cosby, Savion Glover, Al Jarreau, Lalah Hathaway and Leslie Uggams.

Master Menu  

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Top Chef master and chef-owner of Harlem's Red Rooster Marcus Samuelsson is pictured with The Root's D.C. insider, Nicole Venable, at the Howard Theatre gala. Samuelsson developed the menu that will be served at the theater. Guests at the gala were treated to a wide sampling of the soulful menu, which includes smoked salmon, dirty rice and BBQ duck.

Realizing a Dream

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Jamellah Ellis and Malik Ellis, chief operating officer of the Ellis Development Group, celebrate the company's more than five years of work to rebuild the historic Howard Theatre.

Power Shot  

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A dazzling array of notable Washingtonians: Lori Soto, Ernie Jarvis, Stacie Scott Turner, Roy "Chip" Ellis and Erika Martin. Ellis is the president and CEO of the Ellis Development Group.

Berry Good Night

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The Ellis Development Group gives Motown founder Berry Gordy an award for his contributions to music and the historic Howard Theatre.

Legends in the House

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Motown legend Smokey Robinson reflects on being a performer at the Howard Theatre and pays tribute to his mentor Berry Gordy.

Let's Get It On  

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D.C.'s own jazz harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet performs a tribute to Marvin Gaye with Raheem DeVaughn.

D.C. Royalty  

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Sonya Ali (of the famed D.C. family and restaurant Ben's Chili Bowl) is pictured here with Sean Glover of SoundScan.

Who Likes to Par-Tay?

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BET's Big Tigger hosts the historic Howard Theatre after-party with DJ Biz Markie.

D.C. Politicos Rock the Howard  

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Enjoying the Howard Theatre gala after-party are CNN political commentator Jamal Simmons, Tina Hamilton and Yebbie Watkins, chief of staff to Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn.

Spring in D.C.

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Unseasonably warm weather welcomed Washingtonians into spring. From a Pink Tie soiree to kick off the National Cherry Blossom Festival's centennial to Spring High Tea with the Links and the White House's yearly Easter Egg Roll, the who's who of black D.C. ushered in springtime in style.  

The White House Easter Egg Roll

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The 134th annual White House Easter Egg Roll was held on April 9, the day after Easter. An estimated 34,000 attendees crowded the White House grounds to celebrate Easter and meet the first family.

A Family Affair

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D.C. politico Lauryl Jackson, her son, McClinton; and daughter, Morgan, pose for the camera on the South Lawn of the White House.

Let's Move

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The audience at the Easter Egg Roll was treated to a number of performers, including an acrobatic troupe from Chicago, whose energetic routines fit well with this year's theme, "Let's Go, Let's Play, Let's Move."

Tightrope

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R&B singer Janelle Monáe performed some of her hits during the day's festivities at the White House.

Down Home

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Patrick and Gina Neely of the Food Network's Down Home With the Neelys pose with Easter-egg roller Morgan Jackson. The Neelys educated Easter Egg Roll attendees about healthy eating at the "Kids' Kitchen" on the White House's South Lawn.

The Links' Annual Spring Tea

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The Capital City chapter of the Links, Inc., hosted its annual Spring High Tea at Washington's Willard InterContinental Hotel on April 7.

Linked for Life

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This year the Links invited a group of students from D.C.'s Dunbar High School to the High Tea; the students joined forces with the organization on a community-service project.

Commercial Ties

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Claudia McKoin, president of the Capital City chapter of the Links, Inc., is flanked by Barbara Lang, president and CEO of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, and her daughter (right).

An Honorable Evening

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Judge Yvonne M. Williams (left) of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia poses with High Tea honoree Julianne Malveaux, president of North Carolina's Bennett College. Malveaux was honored for her contributions to higher education.

Editorial Excellence

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CNN anchor and High Tea honoree Suzanne Malveaux (right) poses with Edna Longreen of the Capital City chapter of the Links.

The Pink Tie Party

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The sixth annual Pink Tie Party, held on March 20, is a  fundraiser that kicked off the two-week centennial celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Pink Chic

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Cutts Consulting's Nicole Cutts poses with a pink fairy stilt walker.

Dynamic Duo

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Pink Tie Party host committee heads, and couple, Ed and Chinyere Hubbard pose for the camera.

Flavorful Fundraiser

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D.C. power couple Brian and Brittany Woolfolk pose in between nibbling on the fundraiser's culinary offerings.

Extraordinary Eats

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Renowned chef and Pink Tie Party host José Andrés is flanked by The Root's D.C. insider, Nicole Venable (right), and Pink Tie Party host-committee member Assata Lee at the fundraiser's VIP reception. The reception featured cherry-inspired food and cocktails by many of D.C.'s finest chefs and top restaurants.

Dancers on Parade

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Some of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater members at the annual opening-night gala at the Kennedy Center. Proceeds from the elegant black-tie event support Ailey's Washington, D.C., outreach programs.

Baltimore Meets D.C.

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Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) with his wife Maya Rockeymoore, CEO of Global Policy Solutions.

School Days

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George Walker, newly nominated member of the president's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, with Rudolph Chandler.

Black & Blue Beauties

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Discovery Channel's Libi Sprow and Events D.C. Communications Director Chinyere Hubbard.

It's All About the Children

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Nutrition advocate Eyang Garrison with Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee staffer David Johns.

Black Tie, Good Cause

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The Root's D.C. Insider Nicole Venable with Yebbie Watkins, chief of staff to Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.).

Pretty in Pink

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D.C. politico Jennifer Stewart poses with Senior White House Advisor Nicole Isaac.

All the Colors of the Spectrum

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The Root's D.C. insider Nicole Venable with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and Kimberly Bassett, executive director of the Wireless Foundation.

All in the Family

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D.C. politico Judith Batty with her sister, Alicia Batts, a partner at Proskauer Rose, sit with one of the Alvin Ailey company members, Michael Francis McBride.

BET Honors After-Party

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DJ D-Nice kept the party groovin' into the wee hours at the National Portrait Gallery after the BET Honors Jan. 14. D.C. politicos mixed and mingled with BET honorees, entertainment-industry performers and executives.

Coach, Survivor, Hero

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BET Honoree Beverly Kearney was awarded for excellence in education. Kearney is one of the most successful and decorated coaches in collegiate athletics. An accomplished athlete herself, she survived a devastating car accident with grace and perseverance and continues to inspire young athletes.

From the C Suite

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Harry Johnson Sr., president and CEO of the MLK National Memorial Project Foundation, with Michael Pickrum, BET's chief financial officer.

Sparkling in Black

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BET executive Bobette Gillette and Kim Bassett, executive director of the Wireless Foundation.

Puttin' on the Ritz

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Guests at the black-tie event came out in style, including Natasha and Cedric Bobo. 

Doing the Right Thing

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The Root's D.C. Insider Nicole Venable with BET Honoree for Media, Spike Lee. Fellow director John Singleton presented the award to his mentor and friend at the ceremony.

Pollywood

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Yebbie Watkins, chief of staff for Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.), with Hill staffer Hassan Christian (office of Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.) and D.C. politico Ray Anderson.

Picture Perfect

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Cheeky Sasso, CEO of CSE Entertainment, pictured with Jenny Abreu.

Two Beautiful Flowers

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Shannon Burwell speaks with BET Honors presenter, India.Arie.

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